Blog

Pablo Neruda

In Santiago, Chile, with my tour manger for 4 weeks in South America Sergio Peña, and with the great Pablo Neruda. “Por un minuto, por una corta vida, quítame luz y déjame sentirme perdido y miserable, temblando entre los hilos del crepúsculo, recibiende en el alma las manos temblorosas de la lluvia.” (From “A la Tristeza II”) Worth looking up – he is pure genius and beauty.

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Clothes on Tour!

I should preface this post with the warning that it really is about clothes. On tour. Because after 57 days on the road (and counting), I suddenly have a couple of days to think about something other than driving and doing shows. And being here in a busy city, surrounded by coy and clever and seductive shops, what do I think about? Clothes!! That is when I realize that I am still wearing the same things I wore all the way through the tour (don’t worry – I’ve been doing laundry)- and I’m not the tiniest bit tired of them.

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Bella Coola 1: The Hill

Anyone who has been to Bella Coola mentions The Hill. Their eyebrows go up, their eyes widen, and they shudder. Some shudder because they have an appetite for things like bungy jumping and sky diving. Others shudder because they consider themselves lucky to have survived the drive. I happen to be the kind of person who loves roller coasters. I cheer for turbulence on planes, swells at sea, and loud thunder storms. But I am cautious at the wheel, and am already feeling fatigued…

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Nisga’a

The Nisga'a highway has been improved since I was last here, in 2000; I miss the old narrow road that kissed the edge of Lava Lake, only marginally higher than the water. Now there are two lanes, paved, well above the waterline. This is the land of the Lava Beds. In...

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Prince Rupert

Leaving Haida Gwaii In the ferry line-up waiting to leave Haida Gwaii, I chat with the women ahead of me. I admire their red Subaru Forester, and before long we are talking about where we're all going and what we're doing. I’m on a tour of BC and Alberta doing shows...

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Haida Gwaii 4: The Yakoun River, The Pub, A Land of Giants

  There is a lot one can do on Haida Gwaii, but I am so tired of driving and so starved for quiet time outdoors that I go in search of hikes nearby. The Golden Spruce Trail is a short drive down the logging road from town. It is an easy walk through beautiful...

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Haida Gwaii 3: Workdays and Fatigue

The next two days consist largely of shows and drives. I do two presentations at secondary schools, and two at elementary. I don’t often do high school shows and I enjoy this different program. I talk about string figure traditions around the world, about different...

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Haida Gwaii 2: Sandspit and a Storm

I feel like I’ve gone to the edge of the world. We are a 9-hour ferry ride from the northern coastal town of Prince Rupert, across the shallow and storm-prone Hecate Strait. When we docked at 7:00 this morning, I was still packing up my bedroll in the passenger lounge...

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Haida Gwaii 1: Crossing

The ferry to Haida Gwaii sails at 10 PM, but cars have to be in line at 8. I watch the goings-on through the wet windshield. Foot passengers are dropped off at the front of the terminal. Some unload boxes of supplies; others have groceries or sports bags or backpacks or nothing but a purse and a hoody slung over their shoulders. Many carry a pillow or sleeping bag for an overnight in the passenger lounge.

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Dolores on Haida Gwaii

At a community dinner on Haida Gwaii, I sit across from Dolores. She grew up in this village, Skidegate, the youngest in a blended family of 17 children. By the time she came along, her father was weary of trying to manage teenagers. “I’m going to trust you not to smoke or drink. That’s all I can do is trust you,”

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